After years of trying to figure it out, I have discovered a scripture marking system that is working for me. I’ve been meaning to share it with you for months, so here it is.
My old set of the 1979/1981 editions of the Standard Works have seen better days. There are some pages I wish I could tear out and replace because the markings are so, so, er, distracting. I got a new set of scriptures when I was called as bishop, but was reluctant to put a mark in them until I figured out a workable system. I have found one and have been using it for months now.
The system uses a spectrum of colors—red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and black. Each color represents a set of topics. On one end, red is dedicated to Christ and His atonement, the gospel, salvation, and the resurrection. On the other end of the spectrum is black which is for Satan and his minions.
Here is how the colors are organized:
- Red: Christ, Atonement, gospel, salvation, resurrection
- Orange: Covenants, laws, revelation†, commandments, prophecy†, doctrine, history
- Yellow: Light, truth, wisdom, faith, inspiration, testimony
- Green: Promises, blessings, obedience†, prosperity, abundance
- Blue: Prophets, priesthood, keys, ordinances, temple
- Purple: Temptation, sin, evil, darkness, fear†.
- Black or Gray: Satan, evil spirits, evil doers, great wickedness‡
† Added in 2011
‡ Added in 2015
I underline the verses with a pen of a given color (PaperMate Profile pens write smooth and don’t bleed through pages), and highlight important words in the verses with pencil of the same color. For pencils, I am using Prismacolor Col-Erase, which you can buy individually at the BYU Store.
I love having a plan for marking my scriptures, especially one that makes sense without being overly complicated. It’s a delight to rediscover the scriptures by marking a new set as I am now. I recommend it.
P.S. For a post on studying the scriptures as a family, see “How Our Family Does Scripture Study.”